Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed on Tuesday remarked that whatever is written in the law has to be followed in good faith. “Problems arise if the law is violated. Everything contained in the law has to be followed in good faith.” A five-member larger bench headed by Chief Justice Gulzar Ahmed and comprising Justice Mushir Alam, Justice Umar Ata Bandial, Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan and Justice Yahya Afridi heard the presidential reference regarding holding of Senate elections through open ballot. At the outset of the hearing, the attorney general, referring to the constitution of Ireland in his arguments, said that in Ireland, voting in the lower house must be secret. The constitution guarantees the sanctity of the vote of the citizens, he added. Raza Rabbani argued that in the Irish elections, the absolute sanctity of secret ballot is maintained. “It is not a matter of the upper house or lower house, it is a matter of secret ballot. Proportional representation does not mean a majority in the Senate,” he added. “Where votes will be bought and sold, the law will take its course. The difference in the number of seats without evidence cannot be said to be the sale of votes. The person taking money for vote has committed corruption before voting. Taking bribe or agreeing to take it are the first steps in voting,” he added. Justice Ijaz ul Ahsan said that the rules are framed under the constitution. The status of the Rules for the Election Act is not constitutional, he said. The entire procedure of the Senate election has been in the law and not in the constitution, he added. Attorney-General Khalid Jawed Khan told the bench that if the case pertaining to the presidential ordinance is not wrapped up by Wednesday, the Election Commission will not be able to hold the elections on schedule. “Isn’t there any system available through which we can find out who voted for whom? If bribes are attached with the votes, how can we not review [the process],” the chief justice asked. He stressed that every person is against corruption and corrupt practices. “We don’t want this entire exercise [Senate elections] to go to waste,” he said. During the hearing, the attorney-general said that when it comes to presidential ordinances, no one has the right to present their arguments except for political parties. “Bar councils have nothing to do with political matters,” he said. “I am completely against their arguments being heard.” The Supreme Court urged all parties concerned to wrap up their arguments within half an hour each on Wednesday. The JUI-F and JI agreed with the arguments presented by PPP’s Raza Rabbani.